According to the latest economic survey, the production of foodgrains in 2005-06 is expected to rise marginally from 205 million tonnes in 2004-05 to 206 million tonnes in 2005-06. This is 28 million tonnes less than the target of production at 234 million tonnes for the 10th Plan period ending with 2006-07.
It is important to note that this target of 234 million tonnes of foodgrain production was also the target for the 9th Plan period and because of a very large shortfall in foodgrains production in the 9th Plan period this target was accepted as the target for the 10th Plan period also: And surprisingly enough, this target of 234 million tonnes fixed for the 9th Plan period is not likely to be achieved even by the end of 10th Plan !! This is a serious reflection on our planning and the Planning Commission.
India has the second largest arable area in the world after USA: the largest irrigated land in the world; the oldest history of cultivation of crops; and the largest diversity of land and climate in the world. In spite of all these advantages we have not been able to achieve a proper, balanced and sustainable growth of agriculture which is necessary for removing poverty from the country.
In his first Republic Day address to the nation, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had set a road map that India should follow in order to achieve its goal of rooting out illiteracy, poverty and disease from the country. He said that India needs to embark on a second Green Revolution in order to increase productivity for raising the production of foodgrains from the present 213 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 300 million tonnes by 2020 for meeting the need of growing population.
But the production of foodgrains, instead of showing some increase over 213 million tonnes in 2001-02, has fallen to 206 million tonnes in 2005-06 which in 28 million tonnes less than the 9th Plan target of 234 million tonnes which was to be achieved five years back in 2001-02.
The gap between the actual production and the target of 300 million tonnes of foodgrains has been increasing during the last five years of the 10th Plan.